From funding Agriculture to RBZ sentiment; Bitmari founder shares plans for Bitcoin startup

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Sinclair Skinner, the Bitmari founder 

We recently covered a new Bitcoin money remittances startup called Bitmari, which is set to be launched in a few weeks. As always, the issue of Bitcoin’s relevance started a heated debate around its merits, especially for the Zimbabwean market.

We managed to get some brief responses for the founder of Bitmari, Sinclair Skinner. In the following Q and A, he gave some insight on what Bitmari will be working on, and how much the service will cost.

We understand that the biggest value proposition for Bitmari is the cost that is reduced for remitting money. How big a saving will senders of money experience with this platform?

Bitmari will have a 5% flat fee.

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Which financial institution and wallet provider is Bitmari partnering with?

We are still negotiating that.

Is it just one partnership or there are several other similar partnerships lined up?

There are several partnerships lined up.

Are there any other service providers, which you are working with, that are willing to receive Bitcoin sent through Bitmari, and use the Bitcoin for payments?

As Bitmari, we are only focused on remittances.

What has been the reception from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for such a service?

The reception has been great. They have been straightforward and interested in what will help the country as a whole.

Will Bitmari expand into other services besides remittances? If so, which areas are you targeting? 

We are looking at financing land reform farmers.

How do you plan on dealing with a lack of information and awareness on cryptocurrencies in the market? 

Zimbabwe was selected because of its high literacy rate, high cellphone penetration, high mobile banking usage and most importantly willingness to adopt new economic systems. Zimbabwe has utilized an international economy since 2009. A 10-year-old child in Zimbabwe knows more about FOREX than most adults in Europe and U.S.

Do you have any strategies for dealing with the huge presence of mobile money, which is essentially a competitor with its relationships with traditional remittance services? 

We are interested in collaborative relationships that provide the best solutions for Zimbabweans. We will work with all platforms.

10 Comments

  1. 5% is too high says:

    at 5% they are the same as hello paisa which is offering remittence between zimbabwe & south africa. http://www.hellopaisa.co.za/

  2. macd chip says:

    I knew it!

    Its not flat fee when you are charging 5% of whatever the person is sending. This becomes even more expensive if you send into Ecocash wallet which will deduct its own share.

    Add all that to someone you do not know and he honestly think l will put my money through his hands??

    No thank you! I will stick to what l know works and have used for long now.

  3. Wrestler says:

    sob sob, was hopping it would be Skinner we wrestling yakudhara ye WWF sob sob

  4. tinm@n says:

    “Zimbabwe was selected because of its high literacy rate, high cellphone penetration, high mobile banking usage and most importantly willingness to adopt new economic systems. Zimbabwe has utilized an international economy since 2009. A 10-year-old child in Zimbabwe knows more about FOREX than most adults in Europe and U.S. ”

    The pitfall of many…

    They will have to wait a very very very long time before being able to break-even and getting a turn over

    I am all that he has mentioned, but I still stick to classical remmitance channels. I know enought about cryptocurrency. The interest is purely curious, but I am just not drawn to using it.

    Good luck, but I dont see them succeeding anytime soon.

    They just saw the billion dollar figure on Zim remittances, and though…. oh, what’s the “easiest”, “hassle-free”, “low-admin” way to tap into that money….

    Bitcoin!!!!!

    Yes, Zimbabweans will accept it.

    You think?

    Ask me again next year this time.

    1. macd chip says:

      By this time next year, they will be millionaires!!

      ????

  5. G says:

    the problem with bitcoin is the wallet. without an easy to use wallet they ill just fade away. maybe they should think about a simcard based wallet which mimmicks the same mobile experience that people are used to then maybe that would work. you dont even have to tell people its bitcoin based, just use it as your underlying technology to facilitate remittance

  6. Sinclair Skinner says:

    We are bullish on the Zimbabwean fintech opportunities. Zimbabwe is exceptional on the world stage for its willingness implement and adopt bold measures to address economic crisis. This experience will encourage venture capitalist investment in developing a fintech industry in Zimbabwe. We think this burgeoning fintech industry could be a driving engine to make Zimbabwe a global leader in fintech solutions that would transform countries like Greece and others that are desperate for new solutions to help solve there economic woes. Bitcoin is not a silver bullet but it is an innovative platform much like mobile banking that will allow the Zimbabwean economy and many much like it to leap frog antiquated established economic infrastructures of many western countries.

    1. Freddy says:

      Well articulated Mr. Skinner

  7. mablaco says:

    many people come to Africa with genuine intentions to make things better and help in some way. sadly just as many come to take advantage of the situation and steal. telling the two apart takes patience and silence. Mr Skinner’s prior involvement with controversial deals does not instill a great deal of confidence for this BitMari. Garai henyu nema dhiri enyu vaSkinner. isu tichapa uMalayitsa imali yethu

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